7 personalized gift ideas for every occasion

Ria InfoTech: 7 personalized gift ideas for every occasion

Every time a special occasion comes, you find it hard to think of gifts. You can’t decide if you should give your friend a pair of socks, a statement shirt or a gift card from Amazon. On most days, you spend most of your time browsing through online shops and exploring every department store that you can find. However, you always come home tired and empty-handed.

Although choosing a cliché present would make your life easier, it wouldn’t feel special and unique at all. This is why giving them personalized and unique gifts means that you’ve gone the extra mile. These personalized gifts should focus on their interests, serve as a reminder and encourage them to try something new. Here are some of them:

Custom cassette tapes

In the age of music streaming sites such as Spotify, iTunes and YouTube Music, who would ever think of using cassette tapes? Now that you can just listen to a wide array of music in just a few clicks, it seems pointless and obsolete to buy cassette tapes, much less make one. 

However, making a mixtape out of cassette tapes remains one of the most romantic gifts ever. This is especially true if your recipient grew up in the ‘80s where analogue music was at its peak. Watch them get nostalgic and amazed as they watch the tape reels roll and play their favourite old songs.

Here are some tips on how to curate your mixtape:

Consider a theme

A mixtape can become more impactful if it has a theme. Depending on your relationship with your recipient, try to curate your music in a way that sends a special message. 

For instance, if you want to give your friend a cassette tape, compile a list of songs that tells them how much you treasure their friendship. If they are your significant other, include mushy songs that would remind them of your story. 

Know your recipient

One of the best ways to ensure that the recipient will like your cassette tape is to compile songs based on their music taste. For example, if they are into pop music, include the hit pop songs of the year. You can also include songs from the previous decades to add some nostalgia to the mix!

As much as possible, try to make it fresh and diverse. Don’t include the songs that they’ve already listened to a thousand times. It’s better that you add new albums and artists that you think they would love.

Make a great cover art

What makes custom cassette tapes unique is that it allows you to create an album cover of your own. It doesn’t exactly have to be a well-polished cover art that should be edited or customized in photo editing software. You can just whip out a piece of paper, write a cute message and add a bit of decoration to make the tape extra special.

Customized digital portraits

If your recipient likes taking selfies, you should consider giving them a custom digital portrait. Start by choosing their best picture in their social media accounts that you can use as a reference. Make sure that the image will fit the mood and style you’re trying to create!

Next, create a basic sketch. You can use software applications such as Procreate to start working. Depending on your preference, you can choose any style canvas and size for your portrait. However, if you plan to post it on social media like Instagram, it’s best that you opt for the square canvas for easier optimal sizing.

After you’ve finished the basic sketch, try to add some colours to make the image pop out. Keep in mind to start putting colours on the background so it’s easier to decide on what colours to include on the main part of the canvas.

However, if you don’t exactly have the skills to make a portrait, there are some apps that you can take advantage of. They instantly turn your photos into paintings in just a couple of clicks. Here are some examples:

  • Prisma
  • PicsArt
  • Portrait Painter
  • Pikazo
  • Waterlogue

Hand-painted tote bags

One of the most common personalized gifts is hand-painted tote bags. You can transform a plain canvas tote into the most adorable bag that you can give to a friend. Also, if you’re in the mood to embrace your creative side, this is the best way to start getting artistic!

To get you started, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow:

Step 1: Pick a tote bag

If you’re a beginner, you should pick a tote bag with a plain canvas to give you more flexibility and freedom. This allows you to pick the best contrast and colour that captures the art you want to create. 

You should also pick a bag that comes in medium size. Make sure that it’s neatly ironed since wrinkly and crumpled tote bags can make the painting process more difficult!

Step 2: Choose your paint

When painting on a tote bag, you have three options to choose from, including acrylic paint, oil paint and watercolours. If you want something that dries up faster, you should opt for acrylic paint. It also lets you add a couple of colours and lines, making you explore your creativity better. However, colour blending may be challenging, so be extra careful when choosing the colours you’ll use.

Oil paint, however, makes it easier for you to blend colours. It would also require you to have canvas preparation since oil can damage the fabric over time. 

The least used type of paint in tote bags are watercolours. They fade in time and the colours disappear once you wash the tote bag. But the good news is, watercolours allow you to create dreamy and abstract atmospheres, especially if you like a calmy image.

Step 3: Get creative

This is the time to go freestyle and be artistic! When painting on a tote bag, try not to overthink things too much. If you don’t have great painting skills, don’t be afraid to express what you want to paint. Experiment with themes and use paper cut-outs to achieve your desired work!

Moreover, make sure that the artwork you’re creating will resonate with your recipient. Include inside jokes and personal messages, among other things.

Photo puzzle

Gift someone a customized photo puzzle on their birthdays to give them a challenge! You can use Shutterfly to make a puzzle in just a couple of minutes.

To begin, choose a puzzle type such as a photo collage, a single photo and other illustrations. Use page filters to pick a specific piece count and the number of images you’d like to include. In addition, if you’re planning to give this during the holidays, you can add the theme as well.

Next, you can add a couple of designs and special messages around the puzzle to make it more unique. Choose your preferred font, format and colours that perfectly match your design.

Personalised phone case

One of the must-have phone accessories that everyone must have is a phone case. No matter how expensive a smartphone is, it will suffer from scratches, dents and blemishes if poorly taken care of. That’s why giving someone a personalised phone case is a great gift idea!

First, create a mesmerizing pattern using photo editing software using your phone or laptop. Fill the space with a colourful background that complements your main design. Once done, add some motivational quotes and funny jokes that would remind them of you!


A zine is a self-published work that consists of originally written texts. They are typically produced using a photocopier, and in some cases, you can just make them into PDF files for easier viewing. Through a zine, you can write your recipient a collection of poems, short stories or mini-comics that describe their life stories!

Here are the supplies that you will need:

  • Paper
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Rubber stamps 
  • Washi tape
  • Old magazines
  • String or yarn
  • Crayons or coloured pencils
  • Stickers

For example, you can create a fictionalized version of how you and your recipient met. Follow the elements of a story, craft your characters well and establish a great plot twist. So, if you want to practice your writing and imaginative skills, create your zine today!

Personalized vinyl records

Although this might be an expensive personalized gift idea, it’s the best choice for your audiophile friends! Just like a custom cassette tape, you decide what songs you’d like to include and the cover art you want to use. You just have to find a blank vinyl record that you can customize so you can begin creating a playlist.

No doubt giving personalized and unique gifts will never run out of style. So, if you want to hunt for custom-printed gift ideas, visit us here at Ria InfoTech!

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